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10 Ways to Reduce Everyday Stress

10 Ways to Reduce Everyday Stress

Stress is responsible for many problems in people's lives. Stress causes worsened health problems, poor-quality work, and unsatisfying relationships. Managing and reducing stress is essential to everyday life if you want to be happy and fulfilled.

Identify Stress Starters

Take the time to see if there are obvious things that are causing stress and figure out how to solve it. If it is work-related, can these tasks be delegated to others, or can you find a better position? Or maybe as you identify stressors, you realize that your stress is increased after you had your coffee for the day.

Eat A Well-Rounded Diet

The old saying, ‘you are what you eat’ will always be true. Most of the time, if you don’t feel good, it can be traced to a poor diet. Unnatural food and unnatural or overly processed food and sugar are known to make stress worse.

Exercise Daily

Exercise reduces stress because anytime you exercise, you activate hormones that make you feel good. Conversely, the hormone cortisol is responsible for stress and is significantly reduced during exercise, so you both reduce hormones that make you feel stressed and boost hormones that make you feel good through exercise.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleeping poorly means an increase in cortisol in your blood, which leads to stress. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night to function optimally. Likewise, don’t oversleep. Adults typically don’t need more than 9 hours a night of sleep.

Drink Enough Water

Dehydration can also increase cortisol levels, so make sure you get enough water per your weight. The standard message of drinking eight glasses of water a day applies but double-check with your healthcare professional to find out how much you need based on your weight, health, diet, and other factors unique to you.

Get A Blood Test

Stress can easily be caused due to underlying medical conditions or your vitamin levels being off. Get a comprehensive blood test to see where you may be having issues. Low vitamin D, B12, and iron are responsible for symptoms of stress.

Laugh Often

Get those feel-good chemicals activated by laughing. Laughing reduces muscle tension, increases oxygen intake, and reduces your heart rate and blood pressure— all reducing your stress.

Meditate Daily

Meditation uses mindfulness techniques to achieve a mental and emotionally stable state of being. This is why it is such a great technique to reduce stress, as this is the primary goal. Even five minutes daily after you wake up can make a big difference.

Practice Breathwork

Breathwork encompasses easy breathing exercises that can be done right away when stress feels overwhelming. It is as simple as holding your breath for a few minutes or following a phone application that has you tailor your breathing to the imagine. These exercises work by having your focus on other things while also bringing in a sense of relaxation due to increasing blood oxygen levels from regulated breathing patterns.

Listen to Music and Get Moving

Music and moving around are great medicine for many problems, not just stress. Moving and music can make people feel happy and energized. The more you produce feel-good hormones, the more your cortisol levels will decrease too. So, turn up that music and cut a rug.

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a health professional if your stress is taking over your life. However, these ten ways to reduce everyday stress are a great way to start.

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When You’re Stressed for Too Long, Your Immune System Suffers

When You’re Stressed for Too Long, Your Immune System Suffers

Stress can make it rather difficult to operate at your full potential. Obviously, it has its share of mental effects, causing you to work less efficiently, but it also has many physical effects.

One physical effect of stress that you might end up encountering is that it lowers your immune system, leaving you more prone to getting sick. If you’ve noticed yourself getting frequently sick recently, it might not just be due to allergies or a bug going around.

It could be that you’re so stressed out that your body has started give up on its own immune system, which can be extremely bad in some circumstances. Now, for your immune system to be lowered, it takes more than just one bad day.

You need to be stressed out for an extended period of time. This can be hard to identify, though. If you go long enough being stressed out, eventually you’re going to be used to that as the norm.

You might be stressed out for awhile and not even realize it after a point. By lowering your immune system, your body is open to more harmful diseases. It could be something minor like a cold or a cough, but it could get a lot worse.

Some people experience rashes or airborne diseases that require a visit to the doctor to fix, leading to more costs, which can become stressful in its own right. Getting sick can put a serious damper on your work performance.

If it’s bad enough, you might not even be able to come into work, but if you do go, you’re definitely not going to be operating at your best levels. You’ll be worried about getting other people sick if it’s contagious, and you’re going to end up getting even more stressed out.

You need to keep your stress managed so that you can avoid getting sick. What might seem harmless can turn into nausea, headaches, viruses, and more. You need to treat your body right so that you can stay healthy and happy.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have your bad days. It’s fine to have a day where you’re feeling stressed - that’s normal. However, you need to pull it together and figure out what to do next so that this feeling doesn’t continue on and take over your life.

That means regularly engaging in stress relief that’s tailored to your personal preferences. Switch it up and make sure that it’s something that soothes your mind and calms your nerves.

Your Body Continually Tries to Recover from Stress

Your Body Continually Tries to Recover from Stress

When it comes to stress and how it relates to aging, many people are afraid that just a little bit of stress can cause them to develop signs of aging and health problems. In reality, that’s not quite the case.

As an adaptation from our prehistoric days, humans have developed means of physically handling stress, but that’s only meant for short term bursts. If you have ongoing stress, then your body will always be trying to catch up, which can then lead to faster aging.

Some parts of this natural defense might be things you already recognize as signs of stress. For one, your heart rate will go up. This is because your body assumes it’s about to have to either fight or run, so it gets you all amped up and prepared.

For this same reason, you might also notice that your muscles tense up and you might even start to get twitches in your eye or muscles. These natural defenses are great for short term stress.

It gets you prepared to take on a challenge, and you’re able to do what you need to do. However, your body needs rest after that to recognize that you’re no longer stressed out and don’t need those defenses anymore.

With long term stress, you never get to that point. When you’re stressed out over a prolonged period of time, your body will be in a constant state of trying to repair itself and help you out, which ends up doing more harm than good.

Some of the defensive measures that your body puts in place can, if they don’t stop, give you signs of aging and even afflict you with physical health problems. Take, for example, the increased heart rate.

While it’s beneficial for a short burst of energy, if you have a high heart rate for awhile, you’re bound to eventually suffer from some heart complications. In some cases, this can even end up being fatal.

Another example would be the tensed up muscles. While it’s great for the fight or flight response, constant tension in your body can lead to so many physical problems normally reserved for senior citizens.

Your face will start to develop wrinkles over time from always looking worried, and your body will experience soreness and cramps more often than before. You need to take time to relax and let your body take a break from always trying to recover.

What to Do When People Are Your Primary Source of Stress

What to Do When People Are Your Primary Source of Stress

Stress comes from a variety of issues - including from people. Knowing how to deal with people who cause your stress can help you avoid the physical ramifications of having toxic individuals in your life.

These physical issues happen because of the emotional stress you deal with every time you encounter someone who makes you feel angry, sad, frustrated and more. Emotional stress is just as bad for speeding up the aging process as physical stress is.

It can cause diseases, immune system deterioration and more. You might have to deal with a friend or family member who causes you stress. It might be a coworker or someone you encounter regularly, like a neighbor.

Whoever it is, you need to learn how to deal with it to mitigate the effect on your health.

Start by identifying who the people are in your life who cause you stress. The way to tell if someone causes you stress is every time you think about being around them or you actually are around them, you have a visceral reaction.

Your stomach gets tied up in knots or you have an emotional reaction. You feel anxious or angry. People who cause stress often look at the negative in everything around them, including in you.

They always leave you feeling worn out. These people complain about how bad their life is or they compare their life to yours and tell you how lucky you are. They often tear down other people and can be subconsciously or even deliberately cruel in their comments or actions.

They don’t accept blame for anything going on in their life, but blame their friends, family, coworkers or even you. These people are always where the drama is or they’re the cause of whatever drama is going on.

They want you to be their shoulder to lean on and every time you spend time with them, you leave feeling a lot worse than when you arrived. You can put a stop to the drama that comes from other people.

Begin by going on the offensive. You already know this person or those people are going to cause you stress. Know your course of action before meeting up with them. Determine ahead of time how you’re going to handle it when the stress kicks in from being with them.

Don’t let someone else have the emotional reins in your life. People will say and do things that cause stress, but they can’t be in charge of how you respond to that stress. Only you can do that.

You can feel empathy toward someone without letting them emotionally wreck you. This usually comes from a friend who gets angry about something and leads you toward anger as well.

When someone does stress you out, don’t carry it with you. Deal with it immediately and then let go. When the topic of conversation or their actions trigger stress, either change the subject or address the actions directly. Keep your distance emotionally as much as possible and if that’s not possible, then keep a physical distance if you have to.

Can Stress Cause Digestive Issues?

Can Stress Cause Digestive Issues?

Stress doesn’t play hit and miss with your body, picking and chooses certain areas to affect while leaving other parts of it alone. Instead, stress launches a full body attack and impacts you from head to toe.

It can even cause digestive issues that can mildly or significantly impact your ability to live normally. When it comes to stress, you have to first understand that your gastrointestinal function doesn’t operate as a standalone system.

Your digestive system works in tandem with your brain and nervous system. When something goes wrong with either of those, the fallout is passed down to your digestive system.

That’s because your gastrointestinal system passes and receives signals. Stress disrupts or scrambles these signals. When you’re under stress, the systems can’t work smoothly and it causes a break down in communication.

You can get scrambled signals for things like differentiating how your body handles the digestive order. The process that works to handle the food can shortchange the amount of enzymes used or it can release too many enzymes.

You can experience spasms - not only in your esophagus, but in your stomach as well. The production of acid within your stomach can be affected by stress. Your food won’t be broken down the way it should and your body won’t be able to absorb the nutrition like it normally does when you’re not stressed.

Stress can cause stomach pain and nausea. It can cause your bowels to slow down so you develop constipation or it can cause them to speed up so that you end up with diarrhea.

You can develop inflammation within your digestive system. This can lead to cramps, weight loss, and fever. You may develop painful bloating. When your digestive system is affected by stress, it can cause you to have heartburn and it can lead to the development of serious gastrointestinal conditions.

You can develop ulcers due to the stress your body is feeling. Though it’s true that ulcers are directly linked to a specific bacteria, it’s the upset in the normal function of the digestive system under stress that allows this bacteria to flourish to the point of causing an ulcer.

If you have a condition such as IBS, stress can worsen that. Stress is known to cause flare ups of certain diseases such as IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The reason that stress can impact your digestive system so heavily is because hormones are released when the body experiences stress.

These hormones flood your entire gastrointestinal system and throw it out of balance.

The stress that you’re under can keep your system out of balance until you take steps to alleviate it.

Stress Can Cause Obesity to Spiral Out of Control

Stress Can Cause Obesity to Spiral Out of Control

If you’re struggling with obesity, being under stress can cause you to continue to gain. It can reach the point where the weight gain gets out of control. Stress is one of the key factors in packing on the pounds.

Part of the reason why you gain more weight if you’re under stress has to do with your hormones. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol. This stress hormone is helpful when you’re in a dangerous situation because it’s your flight or fight response.

But when you’re not in danger, your body is just flooded with cortisol and that cortisol prods you to want to eat. Not only does it make you to want to eat, but you find yourself pulled toward foods that are known to cause weight gain and health problems - foods like chips, cookies, cakes and fast foods are what you want.

There’s a reason the cortisol boost makes you want foods like that. It’s because when your body thinks there’s danger, it wants food in response to the hormonal outburst. Your body’s appetite increases, your digestion and metabolism slow down and your cravings feel like they went through the roof.

Because your metabolism slows down during stress, your body doesn’t handle calories or weight the same way it does when you’re not under stress. Along with the slower metabolism, stress causes changes in the way your body processes glucose.

You’ll find that your blood sugar can become elevated and stay elevated when you’re stressed. This leads to a desire to eat more, which then causes your glucose levels to rise sharply and quickly if you eat the sugary junk foods that are known to cause spikes.

Then those spikes fall, leaving you feeling jittery, and craving more sugary foods. When you’re stressed, you’ll eat greater portion sizes because you’re not so much feeding the hunger as you are trying to silence the emotions that go along with the stress.

Emotional eating has longed been linked with stress and people eat to feed emotions such as anger, sadness, depression, and anxiety. Overeating is also linked to the higher production of cortisol in your body that stress produces.

So what happens is stress triggers the changes throughout your body that lead to more hunger and combined with the slower metabolism, greater weight gain. This reaction that occurs isn’t something that can be fixed simply by dieting.

Because while the weight gain is the effect, it’s not the cause. The cause is the stress - and until you address the stress and deal with that, you’ll always have an uphill battle regarding weight gain.

Once you take care of the stress, you’ll find that it’s easier to stop the weight gain and lose the extra pounds because your body’s cortisol hormones will return to normal levels and your metabolism will pick back up.

Stress Can Worsen Diabetes Symptoms

Stress Can Worsen Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes is a condition that requires consistent control in order to minimize the effects the disease has on your health. When you have good glucose control, you can have a similar life expectancy of someone who doesn’t have the condition.

But when stress is in the picture, it can impact your day to day health as well as your long term health. When you’re under stress, your body immediately kicks into gear and raises your hormone levels in an attempt to fight back against whatever the stress is.

The rise in hormone levels introduces a flood of cortisol. In people with a normal metabolic reaction to stress, the blood sugar then returns to normal. Those who have diabetes don’t have the same results.

When someone who has diabetes experiences stress, the body isn’t able to process the glucose released by the hormone reaction. As a result of that, the glucose isn’t absorbed or used.

Instead, it remains in the blood and you’ll notice that when you check your glucose level. If you’re subject to a constant barrage of stress and the body’s hormone reaction to stress, it causes long term elevated stress levels.

This leads to ineffectual glucose management, which in turn causes your diabetes and the related symptoms to spiral out of control. You can have stress that’s physical or emotional, but your body doesn’t differentiate between the types of stress.

It simply reacts to the stress itself. You can have headaches, fatigue, stomach pain, shoulder pain and mood swings as a result of stress. Because a diabetic can’t get their glucose back into balance the way that someone without diabetes naturally can, your health is put at risk.

Uncontrolled glucose levels can lead to nerve damage, skin infection or rashes, dental problems, kidney damage, heart attacks, blindness and loss of limbs. When the stress is being controlled and the glucose levels are within range, someone who has diabetes doesn’t face those issues.

But when the stress isn’t under control, then your diabetes won’t be either. The longer it goes uncontrolled, the more damage you’ll experience to your body. For someone who has diabetes, stress raises your blood pressure.

Many people with diabetes have borderline hypertension or have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Because the stress raises the blood pressure, that can cause more problems for your heart.

Stress is bad for anyone - but it’s twice as bad for someone with diabetes. In order to be able to regulate your glucose, you must find a way to eliminate the stress. If you’re in a stressful situation or you have chronic stress, learning how you can eliminate stress or remain calm can help prevent your glucose from constantly being high.

Is Your Hair Thinning Due to Stress?

Is Your Hair Thinning Due to Stress?

Stress is a big cause of significant health and emotional problems. If you’re experiencing stress, your body goes through changes that reflects that mental chao. One of these changes is thinning hair.

The technical name for this is telogen effluvium and it can cause a once normal full head of hair to thin in patches, to fall out in clumps and to result in bald areas on your scalp.

When that happens, it’s a sign that you’re under a heavy stress load and it needs to be dealt with. Fortunately, the hair loss condition isn’t permanent, but it will last as long as you’re under the stress.

Everyone loses some hair, but it’s usually so minimal, you hardly even notice it. When you start noticing a lot of hair loss when you wash or brush your hair and you’re also under stress, that can be a bad sign.

The cause of thinning hair when you’re under stress is because stress can stop your body’s normal hair growth cycle. Your hair goes through stages of growth times and then it enters into a rest period.

The majority of your hair remains in a constant state of growth. That’s why you don’t usually notice the small portion that’s not in the growth cycle. Stress gets between the natural cycle and causes more strands of hair to get pushed from the follicles during the resting phase.

It also interrupts the natural growth period. Because stress causes this two part hair growth interruption, new hair doesn’t grow as fast as it normally would and the reaction caused by stress, the telogen effluvium, leaves your hair noticeably thinner.

The kinds of stress that can lead to hair thinning can be caused by an illness that’s ongoing. It can be stress related to medication, some that you take or some that you stop taking.

Not eating a healthy diet or going on crash diets can trigger stress that leads to the temporary hair thinning condition. Giving birth can cause the reaction of thinning hair if you’re under stress.

Being under emotional stress is a known cause of the condition. This would be stress such as having financial or relationship problems. It could be caused by stress from dealing with a job change or a move.

The condition kicks in when you’re stressed because of how stress causes your hormone levels to get out of balance. The longer you’re stressed, the more hair thinning you’ll experience.

But the good news is that the thinning hair is completely reversal if you eliminate the stress you’ve been under. You can eliminate stress through a number of ways such as by exercising, or using meditation.

Stress Will Defeat Your Anti Aging Efforts

Stress Will Defeat Your Anti Aging Efforts

You might be doing all that you can do outwardly to slow the signs of aging. You may be practicing a good skin care routine, making sure you get enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating healthy.

But all that effort is wasted if you live with chronic stress. Stress is one of the big factors when it comes to sabotaging your anti-aging efforts. The toll begins deep within your body on a cellular level.

Stress damages your mitochondria. Your mitochondria are structures known as organelles that are within your cells. Your mitochondria reacts to various factors, both physical and mental that can change your health, both short and long term.

The job of the organelles is to create energy for your body. When the mitochondria become impaired due to stress, a number of events take place that you may not even realize.

The first thing is that you become open to developing ongoing cell damage, inflammation and disease. The organelles filter your life and are instrumental in dealing with how your body as a whole reacts to stress.

When you let stress go and you don’t deal with it, the mitochondria can reach their limit. They simply aren’t able to cope with a high volume of stress. As a result, the clock starts ticking and the signs of aging multiply.

You’ll see things like skin damage, hair that loses its luster, muscle weakness, organ damage, cognitive problems and vision or hearing issues. Stress doesn’t just age you at a cellular level.

It also affects your brain. Stress can age your brain and even make it shrink in size. That’s because stress causes a reaction within the body that alerts the brain’s hypothalamus.

As a result, the brain pushes for a greater production of cortisol. Left unchecked, this flood of cortisol impedes the brain’s ability to work properly. The stress interferes with the synapse function, eliminates viable brain cells and stunts the cortex.

At the same time, the cortisol flood causes a loop effect, meaning it can make the effect of stress on your brain even greater. This causes age related issues like forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and confusion.

Studies have linked high cortisol levels in the brain to cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Many people don’t realize that vision is impacted by stress and vision loss can occur as a result.

You can experience things like glaucoma, retinopathy and other age related eye problems. Stress damages the nerves within the eyes because of the higher levels of cortisol in the body.

It’s the same thing with your hearing. Stress can hasten the decline in your hearing. It can cause things like tinnitus, hearing loss, partial or full deafness. Stress can cause high blood pressure, too, which causes damage to your blood vessels.

Vessels are impacted throughout your body - including in your ears. If you don’t minimize or get rid of stress, you will feel and see the effects. It’ll make you feel older than you are and your appearance will change to reflect what’s going on in your body.

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